Speaking with Cheri Faulkner of Soundsphere magazine recently, globally-renowned artist, YOSHIKI commented on the emotional connection he had with fans, as well as his mental health. See the full clip below:
Under The Sky delves into Yoshiki’s personal experiences with asthma as a child, and pain through death and loss, and his fans connect to him on this basis. “My life has been very uneasy,” he tells us, “It’s not smooth. I just went through a lot of pain and struggle, but at the same time I decided to talk about it. It’s just me talking about the hardship I went through, supporting people.”
“The pandemic hit in not only one location, so connecting people through music, in pretty much the entire world, is a very big concept,” he explains. “That also gave me strength, so gave my fans strength as well.” It seems like Yoshiki’s directorial debut has been a resounding success, as sold-out premieres across the UK, the USA, Japan, and Europe have all been underway. “I was not expecting this,” he humbly tells us, “The reaction I’m getting from not only my fans, but amazing directors around the world is very overwhelming.” Hopefully this is only the start of yet another new creative outlet for Yoshiki, as he says, “It’s opening up a lot of doors for me, so I’m getting out to direct some films already. I wasn’t expecting that. That’s amazing.”
In the vibrant landscape of creativity, where ideas bloom and minds take flight, an often underestimated force comes into play: chance. While meticulously crafted plans and intentional practice undoubtedly have their merits, the question arises – can the spontaneous and unpredictable elements in language training unveil latent creative potential, especially for individuals with diverse abilities?
Enter Grandomastery, a method derived from “great random mastery,” the skill of effectively embracing and harnessing diverse manifestations of randomness and spontaneity across various areas of life. Grandomastery actively engages with this intriguing concept, presenting a dynamic array of challenges rather than adhering to rote drills or predictable sequences. It throws participants into a whimsical dance, akin to rolling colorful dice, each cast leading to a new adventure for the mind. For language learners, this method becomes a powerful training ground.
Consider the case of Sarah E Boon, an ESL teacher and advocate for neurodiversity, who embarked on a journey with grandomastery method. She observed how the method’s embrace of randomness empowered her students in distinctive ways by utilizing grandomastery.com, one of free and open-access grandomastery-fueled platforms with millions of “grandom” tasks. In one of her posts in her blog autisticallysarah.com she highlighted the following advantages of grandomastery method:
Firstly, breaking free from convention: The unpredictable nature of prompts propelled them beyond familiar linguistic structures, encouraging experimentation with language, the exploration of novel connections, and the discovery of their individual voices.
Secondly, embroidering confidence with spontaneity: Confronting unpredictable tasks on the spot instilled a sense of self-assurance in navigating real-life conversations, presentations, and daily exchanges.
Lastly, celebrating the “second state”: Grandomastery’s playful environment created a space prioritizing the flow of ideas over perfection, enabling students to tap into the elusive state where creativity truly flourishes.
The implications of this departure from the ordinary extend beyond individual journeys. Consider the following possibilities:
For artists with disabilities: Envision a platform that introduces random prompts, igniting unforeseen pathways in painting, music, or writing. Picture a sculptor guided by emotions drawn from a shuffled deck of words or a musician crafting melodies inspired by the rhythm of raindrops.
For individuals facing mental health challenges: Grandomastery provides a secure space to practice communication in unpredictable scenarios, fostering confidence and instilling joy in everyday interactions.
For language learners of all backgrounds: Depart from the confines of predictable textbooks and immerse oneself in a whirlwind of unexpected language encounters. Random ideograms serve as stepping stones to deeper understanding, while unforeseen prompts become opportunities for creative expression.
Nevertheless, like any dance with the unknown, embracing randomness requires an open mind and a willingness to step outside one’s comfort zone. Grandomastery method is not a magical solution but a method pointing towards unexplored territories of creativity. It serves as a catalyst for experimentation, nudging individuals towards exploring the unexpected – within this venture lies the potential for extraordinary discoveries.
The question then arises: where does this unconventional path lead? The answer rests with us, the curious explorers of the WaRo community. Perhaps it’s time to discover what the unpredictable whispers of randomness reveal about our own creative depths. In the realm of language and innovation, after all, some of the most captivating journeys often commence with a leap of faith and a dash of serendipity.
Words: Richard Smith
Soundsphere editor and WARO founder, Dom Smith recently appeared on the Strong Tea Podcast to talk about growing up with Cerebral Palsy, starting Soundsphere (and WARO), and the difficulties that came with that. In addition, Dom discusses the journey toward becoming a qualified counsellor, and dealing with his own mental health challenges.
On the appearance, Dom comments:
“I have never done an interview where I have been so open and honest about the challenges I have faced, and so I am incredibly proud that this is out in the world.
Thank you to Strong Tea for giving me the space to reflect, all while having a good brew!”
I had my first sexual experience when I was 22. In fact, my first kiss also happened when I was 22. You could call me a late bloomer. Before that hot summer’s night, I used to dream of what I would do with whoever was my crush at the time – feel free to use some imagination. Now, in my 30s, I have had many sexual experiences and, like many other sexually active individuals, I enjoy the intimacy and pleasure it brings. Unlike other people who have and enjoy sex, I have Cerebral Palsy.
Sex and disability are two words rarely spoken about together. Disabled people are often incorrectly perceived as being asexual due to society’s generally heteronormative ideas around sex. It is evident that this stigma that exists needs to be dismantled, and a campaign for the condom and lubricant manufacturing company, Durex, achieved this with much success. The campaign, controversially called The Unf*ckables, was launched in Spain in 2020 and featured disabled people as the stars of the advertisements. Despite the campaign being tongue-in-cheek, it is provocative in the way it forces one to view disabled individuals as sexual beings.
It would be ignorant for society to exclude disabled people from the sexual narrative, especially when they make up 15% of the global population, according to the World Health Organization. Sex is as much of a basic need as eating, drinking and sleeping are for all human beings. Furthermore, we yearn for that oxytocin to make us feel good.
Speaking as a young woman, who lives with a physical condition which affects my mobility, my sexual experience do look a little different to the norm. My biggest challenge has always been penetration, owing to the fact that I cannot open my legs very wide. I have managed to work around this by communicating my needs to my partner, resulting in either changing positions or the overall pace. Apart from my mechanical sexual challenges, I sometimes feel anxious and self-conscious around sexual activities. Compounded with the usual performance concerns, I worry that men might find my body unattractive. This really is not conducive to relaxing my body as it increases my spasms – not ideal components for enjoyable sex. Over the years, I have realized that the better I know my partner and the more comfortable I feel around him, the more the anxiety and negative feelings about my body falls away.
From a broader perspective, people who have other physical disabilities, including spinal cord injuries, neuromuscular conditions like Multiple Sclerosis, amputations and varying degrees of paralysis all experience challenges in the bedroom. Some people use sex toys and physical aids (such as bed modifications) to enhance their sexual experience. Finding suitable sex positions can bring more comfort and make it easier for physically disabled people.
The physical act of sex accounts for only a part of one’s sexuality. Disabled individuals experience barriers to sexual healthcare services, including gynecological examinations, information around safe-sex practices and accessing contraception. These include attitudinal barriers, where misconceptions around disabled people’s ability to have sex are rife, causing discrimination and the perpetuation of society’s ignorance. In addition, physical barriers in terms of inaccessible buildings with no elevators as well as inaccessible toilet facilities and dimly lit areas making signage difficult to read all contribute to a disabled individual’s inability to access these vital healthcare services. Communication barriers are also fundamental in contributing to the lack of properly disseminated sexual information. The printed information is often not available in braille or in larger fonts, making it difficult for people who are blind. There is also little use of sign language to accommodate deaf people.
Consensual sex is a union between people, filled with an intimacy that has the power to bring pleasure and a deep physical connection. Bonds with other people are borne from our gregarious nature and in a perfect world, the ability to enjoy the most primitive act where this takes place should be plain sailing. The world we find ourselves in requires compassion, genuine empathy, honest communication and open conversations with our partners and as a society to conquer the many challenges before us.
Words: Jaxx Woulken
Dom Smith sat down with GCW’s Effy to talk about difference and diversity in wrestling, you can listen to the full interview over on the Gimme A Hull Yeah YouTube now.
WARO’s Dom Smith was recently a guest on the Prelude Podcast to talk about the development of WARO, plans for the future, Soundsphere magazine, mental health and more. You can listen to the episode below!
Does someone with a disability have a right to leave their house? I’d hope that you’re thinking of course they have a right, we are all citizens of the same world, the same society. Sadly, the reality is that too many people don’t see it that way, at least on a subconscious level.
The worst experience was in a clothes shop when a lady, clearly annoyed that I was in the way hit me around the head with her handbag. Whilst not everyone is so physical with their manifestation of distaste it’s no less painful. Don’t give up hope, there are nice people out there; but it’s sad that this is the exception. I’ve experienced people climbing over me to reach something, which is degrading. People step out in front of my chair with anger I can’t instantly stop. Recently I was expected to reverse down an aisle despite being near the end, to clear the path for a superior walking person. And the amount of people that kick or knock into my chair, in shops, in restaurants, etc is insane and it really hurts.
On Facebook a lady had shared the photo of a train conductor who had asked her to move her pushchair out of the disabled space to allow someone to board the train in a wheelchair. She was horrified that she was expected to place her child in a train seat. She was textually vocal that the disabled person should have been made to wait for the next train, she was there first, and because they were disabled it’s not like they had anywhere to get to. I was absolutely mortified that someone could be so open with this attitude. I tried to politely engage offering some perspective which was fruitless, this lady was set in her view and her language towards anyone disabled was abhorrent. “Most disabled people are just druggies who’ve ended up in wheelchairs” as though the cause of someone’s disability should allow society to determine how they deserve to be treated. I can’t lie, it made me afraid to use public transport.
I am certain these attitudes are validated by the right-wing tabloids attempts to demonise disabled people as benefit scrounging fakers. I’m trying to develop a thick skin and stand up for myself, but is that the solution? Should I have to fight for my right to participate in society? Do I actually have a right to be here, sadly it’s starting to feel like the answer is no. But it is not all doom and gloom, there are things we can do to make changes in our society. Write letters to your local shops asking them to consider how they can make their shop more accessible. Kill any anger you experience with excessive kindness, people don’t know where to look when you respond in an over the top kind way. Search online for details of the numerous campaigns you can join.
Be vocal online, sharing your experiences may help make people think about the impact of their actions. Stay Strong!
Originally published by Unite / Rebecca Doyle
Why should you always go to gigs with a disabled friend? I am clearly biased, having a disability myself, and I think I am great company.
It was in the playground where I enjoyed my first dissociative state. I would’ve been about five. I was looking up at the white blue sky watching spots of dust slip across the lens of my eye. Each spot was a dot with a fine black halo where the meniscus of the tears filming my eye held the dust grain. And a chain of spots, a wonky line, where the impressions of a tiny hair slid down.
Language is the strength at the base of the pillar of any society. Our idiomatic template defines our approach; not just to how we communicate, but how we perceive.